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28 November 2008 @ 10:10 am
bits and bobs  

Ted went Christmas shopping in Dublin yesterday, where he says he did not find anything at all that he was looking for for me. On the other hand, he did find the man who sells honey-roasted pecans and cashews and cinnamon-and-sugar-soaked dried apple slices, and this is probably worth the price of admission. Except, of course, the danger of knowing where that shop *is*, now…. :)

We are not, at this house, in a turkey stupor, because we’re not holding Thanksgiving until tomorrow (when our ONE IRISH FRIEND WHO *LOVES* US is coming up), and so today instead of feeling, well, stupefied, I’m feeling rather mellow and sleepily pleasant and have plans to write a couple thousand words on “Cairn Dancer” and clean the living room while Ted makes bread rolls and french-fried onions and whatever else he’s planning to make today in preparation for tomorrow.

Here’s the thing (I said, quite randomly) about drawing: I’m not good enough to draw pictures just out of my head, and while I’ve got at least one CD of artist reference photographs, it’s a CD and not actually very convenient unless I either have a computer handy (which, since we only have one right now, I don’t really) or if I want to print them out, which is inevitably more bother than I want to put into it. I often use magazines and stuff to draw from, but I don’t actually *buy* magazines (especially here, where they’re unbelievably expensive) and the people in them are all digitally touched up anyway. There must be good books of these sorts of things, though. Anybody got any suggestions?

(I could, I suppose, print out copies of my own photographs that I’ve taken. That only just occurred to me. Still goes through the ‘have to print it out’ thing, but at least I know I like the source material. :) This is a good idea! Why didn’t I think of it before?)

I may go out today and buy a couple of floor lamps. I really hate the overhead lighting in the living room. Oh, wait. I have a better idea. I could wait until Kate gets here with her *car*, and *then* go buy floor lamps, which would mean not having to negotiate awkward packages and taxis! Wahah! I am CHEENUS!

One of the things I noticed in doing the copy edits for THE PRETENDER’S CROWN is that I didn’t miss the 30+ pages I took out of the first 200 or so. Not really. I missed them because I knew they’d been there, but it was kind of an active effort on my part: ah, yes, and this is where that whole section would be…. So apparently they could afford to be chopped, and maybe I’ll put them up on cemurphy.net as DVD extras when the book is released. It’s unusual for me to even consider that, because normally when things get dropped it’s because the story has changed so hugely that they no longer fit anywhere at all, whereas these are sections which still work perfectly well within the context of the book, it’s just that they weren’t strictly *needed*. So I’ll probably take advantage of that, since it won’t often happen. :)

All right, this is once more starting to look a lot like procrastination, so I think I’ll go shower and do some work on my short story and stuff. *scoots off*

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Natural20natural20 on November 28th, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)
*wails*Noooo, much love, but much prior engagement! Have a fantastic day tomorrow, only sorry I can't be there.
kitmizkit on November 28th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
I know, I know, just teasing. *hugs* :) Are you already booked for 28 Nov 2009? :)
Natural20natural20 on November 28th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
I'm probably booked for Dragonmeet again, so it kinda depends on when that's on. It's usually the first Saturday in December, but it's possible the organisers have shifted it back a week... may change. We shall see. :)
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on November 28th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)

There's always one.

(Assuming it's the same Kate, give her our love and best wishes, and take a cut yourself.)
Myles Corcoranmylescorcoran on November 28th, 2008 11:05 am (UTC)
This Irish friend loves you too.
The Green Knight: Ninjagreen_knight on November 28th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
<replies to icon>
Myles Corcoran: teacosymylescorcoran on November 28th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
Blocks with teacosy.
The Green Knight: Cygnetgreen_knight on November 28th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
<gives up>
The Green Knightgreen_knight on November 28th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
these are sections which still work perfectly well within the context of the book, it’s just that they weren’t strictly *needed*

I hear ya.

I often fail to move my characters from one important event to the next.

Something happens in town, the character travels to a different location where another scene happens. That would be what the story needs. What I want to write is the whole journey - what the character sees, the people he meets, everything. And each bit has something important in it - character development, a clue, foreshadowing - so I don't always spot the potential for Leaving Things Out.

irishkateirishkate on November 28th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
So I will be leaving just after oh dark hundred and arriving in time for thanksgiving(delayed thanksgiving but none the less)
But it dawns on me I don't actually have your address!!
Pádraig Ó Méalóidslovobooks on November 28th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
So sorry we couldn't make it!

On the plus side, Ted did drop in to say hello yesterday...
wednesday childe: kasugewedschilde on November 28th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
ah, you need a kasuge! ♥
april: arialapril_art on November 29th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
Art Reference...

Well, most artists, if they're doing anything representational at all, do not draw everything out of their own heads. I recal Michael Whelan arranging a photoshoot of a convention-goer who happened to have a look he needed for a project at one of the cons I attended... Not that he couldn't do most everything from his head at that point in his career, but he said he still shot reference in case he needed it.

Were you looking for refs of the human body? and what kind? (portrait shots, action?) Taking your own photos has long been one of the best ways for artists to get reference. You can get friends to pose and maybe try to get the lighting close to what you need. (Most people can be quite obliging in wanting to help out by posing--you'd be surprised! And people dressed in costumes at cons love it--although usually the lighting totally sucks, rendering most photos useless other than for the basics like the costume and pose.)

Magazines are good. If too expensive, you can try and see if anyone has some old ones they want to get rid of... Although, you know, you may have copyright probs with photos unless you are just creating pictures for yourself, or you can just be very careful that you change things enough and only take elements (in other words, truly only refer to them and not try to take entire compositions and likenesses. Nat Geo is almost a cliche for reference. James Gurney used a Nat Geo photo years ago and people can so bust you on it since everyone is looking at those already. Playboy and Victoria's Secret are also over-used, but still useful.).

There are rerence books that are created for artists to use to their heart's content. Some are pretty pricey, though, but maybe one or two could work if you get the right ones. You could have checked them out personally at the Bud Plant booth at ComicCon, if you'd had the time and inclination. But not all are that helpful (depends on what you're looking for, of course).

For Exmaple on Amazon:

Check out the "Customers also Bought..." for similar artist model/pose books. And some may be found second-hand for some savings.

I've got a number of these, but usually I find that they won't have the poses I'm looking for-- Or the right angle, or the right lighting, or enough detail... or whatever. Although I've resorted to them once or twice.

You can also search Google Images for pictures of things. Most will be small and lack detail, however. But it can be useful for certain odd things and quick reference. It is possible to keep them on your screen to refer to if you don't want to print everything out--better actually, since printing at the typical resolution for the web would be almost useless.
Patchchamois_shimi on November 29th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
I've been collecting stock photographers and their stock over on DeviantArt, for art reference purposes. Some stock photogs don't want you using stuff outside of DA, some don't care, you just have to look for the fine print. For example:

And a bajillion other images of all sorts of things. ;)